We all love when that Mill is spinning chips are flying and progress is being made however with progress comes the inevitable need to clear the chips from the machine and to be honest I really hate wasting time cleaning the machine.
Eventually the chip bin gets full and like many others I would begrudgingly wait to empty the bin until I couldn’t wait anymore; side effect of waiting meant the bin was full, the lower tray was full and possibly the entire tray under the X axis. I once let the machine fill to the X-Axis table while machining a 304SS job that I had to get done, then when it was over I spent 4 hours cleaning the machine and looked like I had lost a fight with a wild animal. This experience motivated me to think of a better way to solve this challenge.
Wile it is easy to compare to bigger machines and try to achieve the same, I decided to pull back from that and start with a simpler solution that could be used by everyone. So the solution involves a little modification of the Chip Bin but before you run away please read to the end I’m sure you will appreciate the simplicity.
So with the modified bin it creates a space for a Tray that sits inside the bin at an angle, the tray has perforations along the bottom for coolant drainage. The tray extends past the front of the faceplate by about one inch (25mm) which is less than the handle on the machine. I then created a new faceplate with a rubber flap that will prevent coolant and/or chips from splashing out the front of the machine. Finally (drum roll) there is the chip wiper which is a 3/8 Stainless Steel rod with a handle on one end and an aluminum profile on the other to match the tray contour so the user can easily pull the chips out of the tray before, after or during the machine operation without issue.
The below video was recorded to document the initial design as you can imagine that design then evolved into a more complete solution with a faceplate.
The Final design includes (one of each)
- Faceplate w/ rubber splash Guard
- High Volume Coolant tray (more perforations than one in video)
- Chip Wiper to remove chips
- Bin that fits under the tray and handle for ease of cleaning
When deciding to offer this kit to the community I wanted to do it in such a way that would cover my costs, help me fund future projects, and keep it affordable for Tormach Owners. If you decide to get a kit for your own machine thank you, if it isn’t for you but you appreciate the contribution to the community please leave me a note below.